US judges have ordered the confiscation of two planes owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. The US Department of Justice justified the measure in court documents published on Monday by saying that the machines were used to violate the Russia sanctions imposed because of the Ukraine war. The Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and the Gulfstream G650ER business jet flew to Russia in violation of the sanctions requirements.

The Justice Department estimates the combined value of the two planes at $400 million. However, the planes are apparently out of reach of the US authorities. According to media reports, the Gulfstream G650ER is said to be in Russia, the Boeing machine possibly in Dubai. The US Department of Justice will take “active steps” to confiscate the two planes, Department Representative Andrew Adams said in New York. According to him, the measure aims to induce people with close ties to the Kremlin to “distance” from the Moscow power center and from the Russian state.

Parallel to the Justice Department’s order, the US Commerce Department released a letter formally accusing Abramovich of intentionally violating US restrictions on the export of technology and goods to Russia. These allegations can result in large fines. Abramovich is said to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. (AFP)

Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth wants to help the Ukrainian city of Odessa apply for UNESCO World Heritage status. The Greens politician assured the Ukrainian Minister of Culture Olexandr Tkachenko and the mayor of the south-west Ukrainian city, Hennady Trukhanov, on Monday. “Germany supports this application,” said Roth on behalf of the federal government.

The city is obviously in an emergency situation, everywhere you can see how works of art are being protected from the attacks. “The Ukrainian government is not alone,” Roth assured. She also wants to campaign for Odessa’s application to her colleagues in other countries. (dpa)

During a speech by EU Council President Charles Michel, Russia’s UN Ambassador Vasily Nebensia left the UN Security Council. Michel had previously addressed the Russian representative directly at the Council meeting on the war in Ukraine on Monday in New York, accusing the Kremlin of stealing grain from Ukraine, among other things.

As a result, Nebensia, who had previously given a speech and repeatedly rejected allegations made against Russia by representatives of other countries, left the Council. “You can leave the room, dear Mr. Ambassador, maybe it’s easier not to listen to the truth,” Michel commented. (dpa)